Over at Business Insider, The DL Show host and new media advocate David Seaman offers four things you can do right now to fight against the "legislative nightmare" that is CISPA.
The key points of what he calls an "action kit" are simple enough - learn as much as you can about CISPA, sign the most popular anti-CISPA petitions, CALL your elected representatives about the bill, and spread the word about what CISPA does (he rightly points out that the mainstream media totally buried any coverage of PIPA and SOPA until the eleventh hour when Google and others joined in on the protests).
You can read Seaman's points below, in his own words but it should be noted that this whole plan of attack will work with just about any legislation that sucks (we'd also like to point out that the ECA offers lots of advocacy tools to fight against legislation like CISPA at theeca.com/Digital_Rights).
1. Become as knowledgeable as possible. You can't fight what you don't understand. The EFF has compiled a great summary of prominent "voices of opposition against CISPA" you can browse through here.
2. Sign the most popular of the anti-CISPA petitions. This one has 779,082 signatures so far; their goal is 1 million signatures, and it's a goal I believe we can hit. A few cowards have told me they'd sign it, but they don't want to wind up on "a list." Hey, this is America -- we put our names behind what we truly believe in. And we don't fear being put on lists -- not yet, anyway. Here's the petition. It takes about 20 seconds to fill out and submit.
3. CALL, do not email, Facebook message, or fax your 2 Senators TODAY -- as in right now. Here's a listing of Senators' official phone numbers. This can be politely done in about 2 minutes, 30 seconds. Simply say you are calling to voice your opposition to CISPA, and if your Senators vote in favor of it, you will go out of your way to vote for their opponent in the next election. Furthermore, you will tell your friends and family to do likewise, and spread word of the politician's pro-CISPA stance via your social media accounts.
I have been told repeatedly that calling makes the most impact. Emails and faxes are all too easy to be ignored, and we have no time to waste. While posting a message on your Senators' public Facebook pages is a good way to build public awareness of CISPA, it is not the ideal way to directly connect with the Senator's office. You want to reach an actual aide who will send the message up the chain of command, rather than an overworked social media intern.
4. Awareness, awareness, awareness! The American people cannot oppose something they don't even know about.
The mainstream media cannot be counted on here to get the message out in time. They are lazy, incompetent, and take their marching orders directly from corporate parent companies which, to put it quite simply, do not have your best interests (nor your privacy) at heart.
I didn't truly believe this until I saw the mainstream media refuse to cover -- and then utterly marginalize -- the discussion surrounding NDAA (which is now law, regrettably) and SOPA (which, fortunately, millions of Americans and concerned Internet users around the globe managed to oppose in time -- we can win).
[Full disclosure: GamePolitics is an ECA publication.]